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Barriers and facilitators to CPR knowledge transfer in an older population most likely to witness cardiac arrest: a theory-informed interview approach
  1. Christian Vaillancourt1,2,
  2. Manya Charette2,
  3. Ann Kasaboski2,
  4. Jamie C Brehaut2,3,
  5. Martin Osmond4,
  6. George A Wells2,5,
  7. Ian G Stiell1,2,
  8. Jeremy Grimshaw2,5
  1. 1Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  4. 4Department of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  5. 5Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Christian Vaillancourt, Clinical Epidemiology Unit, The Ottawa Hospital, Civic Campus, F658, 1053 Carling Ave., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1Y 4E9; cvaillancourt{at}


Background We sought to identify perceived barriers and facilitators to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training and performing CPR among people above the age of 55 years.

Methods We conducted semistructured qualitative interviews with a purposive sample of independent-living individuals aged 55 years and older from urban and rural settings. We developed an interview guide based on the constructs of the Theory of Planned Behaviour, which elicits salient attitudes, social influences and control beliefs potentially influencing CPR training and performance. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed until achieving data saturation. Two independent reviewers performed inductive analyses to identify emerging themes, and ranked them by way of consensus.

Results Demographics for the 24 interviewees: mean age 71.4 years, women 58.3%, urban location 75.0%, single dwelling 58.3%, CPR training 79.2% and prior CPR on real victim 8.3%. Facilitators of CPR training included: (1) classes in a convenient location; (2) more advertisements; and (3) having a spouse. Barriers to taking CPR training included: (1) perception of physical limitations; (2) time commitment; and (3) cost. Facilitators of providing CPR included: (1) 9-1-1 CPR instructions; (2) reminders/pocket cards; and (3) frequent but brief updates. Barriers to providing CPR included: (1) physical limitations; (2) lack of confidence; and (3) ambivalence of duty to act in a large group.

Conclusions We identified key facilitators and barriers for CPR training and performance in a purposive sample of individuals aged 55 years and older.

  • cardiac arrest

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